Aviation is a UK success story with a turnover of over £60 billion and annual aerospace exports of £26 billion.

The figures are contained in a new report published today (26 January) that for the first time brings together and summarises the socio-economic contribution of the UK’s aerospace manufacturers, airlines, airports and air navigation service providers.

They work together in Sustainable Aviationsustainableaviation.local to set out a collective and long-term strategy to ensure a sustainable future for UK aviation. Today’s report provides an overview of the contribution that they make to employment and skills, charity and community engagement and connecting the UK to the world. It also reconfirms its goal of sustainable growth and its commitment to working with Government to realise future opportunities in the industry and to promote the wider benefits aviation brings to the UK.

Sustainable Aviation Chairman, Ian Jopson, said: “This is the first time that we have pulled together this data from across the whole of the UK’s aviation sector and the figures are impressive. Our manufacturers, airlines, airports and air traffic controllers can be proud of the substantial social and economic contribution that they make to the UK and our forecast is that this will grow significantly over the coming decades, at the same time as net CO2 emissions and noise output are reduced”.

Commenting on the report, Aviation Minister, Robert Goodwill, said: “Sustainable Aviation is to be congratulated for assembling the facts and figures that show just how much the aviation sector contributes to the success of the UK economy, not least in terms of jobs, training and research and development investment. This Government is a strong supporter of the mission of Sustainable Aviation to support the continued success of the sector, with all the benefits that brings, while also ensuring that effective action is taken to cut environmental impacts”.

Key facts and figures deployed in today’s report include:

  • The UK aviation sector generates turnover of £60.6 billion
  • It supports 961,000 UK jobs, many of them high skill and high productivity jobs
  • It contributes £52 billion to UK GDP
  • It supports 3,500 apprenticeships
  • £1.7 billion is invested in Research & Development annually, with significant spin off benefits flowing out to other sectors and industries
  • It pays nearly £8.7 billion in UK tax
  • It invests over £15 million annually in charity, community and good causes.

The report says that innovation and investment in Research & Development is vital to keeping UK aviation and aerospace in particular at the cutting edge of technology and to maintaining the UK’s pole position as the largest aerospace industry in Europe. It says that the investment industry makes alongside Government helps to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in advanced engineering and high value manufacturing. The competitiveness of UK aviation is underpinned by airlines renewing their fleets to fly the latest generation of cleaner, quieter aircraft and airports and air traffic service providers implementing best in class operational procedures.

Sustainable Aviation says that its goal is a competitive aviation industry making a positive contribution to the UK economy and meeting the needs of society for air transport. It will continue to work with Government to realise the future opportunities for the sustainable growth of UK aviation and to promote the wider benefits of the industry to the UK.

The report says that it will do this by:

  • maintaining constructive relationships with its stakeholders
  • informing the debate around the key issues related to its goals ( )
  • championing the work of its members
  • continuing to work in collaboration with Government to deliver on its aims as well as the goals of Sustainable Aviation

The general socio-economic data in the report are illustrated by a series of case studies from Sustainable Aviation members, including ADS, Airbus, Birmingham Airport, Boeing, Bombardier, Bristol Airport, British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe, Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airports Group, NATS, Rolls-Royce, TUI Group and Virgin Atlantic.

For further information please contact Luke Law on 07919 626 789.
Note to Editors
The Sustainable Aviation report will be launched at 4 pm today (26 January) in the House of Commons, Committee Room 14. Journalists are welcome to attend.

Download press release here


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